tv CBS Evening News With Katie Couric CBS March 30, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
the most part are, no march for qaddafi's heavier weaponry. secretary of state hillary clinton said today no decision has been made about whether to arm the rebels, but there are also reports president obama recently signed a secret order authorizing covert support for them. no word on what that support might include. meantime, qaddafi's inner circle is shrinking. his foreign minister moussa koussa is said to be seeking asylum. the big news tonight is the rebel retreat. mandy clark has been with them on their odyssey and reports tonight from benghazi. >> reporter: the rebels are running for their lives, giving up nearly all the ground they had gained after allied airstrikes over the weekend took out some of qaddafi's heavy weapons. the front line has been shifting in the sand since then, first sunday, moving west over 200 miles to the outsift of qaddafi's birth place of surt. then all the way back to the oil
town of brega, in less than a week. just a few days ago, this was the scene of celebration when the town fell into rebel hand and the front was moving quickly to the west. now the rebels seem to be in full-scale retreat and are telling us not to go any further because qaddafi forces are approaching once more. rebels are starting to show their combat fatigue, outgunned and regularly outflanged in the field, they lack any sort of military strategy or leadership. >> this is not my profession but what can we do now? we must do anything to push this hell and nobody helps us. >> reporter: they desperately need command and control if they hope to make any battlefield gains. they are eager to take ground but are quick to flee when they face any real fight. one simple problem here is communication. networks are down, satellite phones are rare, and there's not a two-way radio in sight.
it's difficult to know how the ribbles are communicating. erica. >> hill: mandy clark, mandy, thanks. and with the rebels steadily losing ground, the debate over arming them grows louder, but as david martin reports, the obama administration has good reason to tread carefully on that iss issue. >> reporter: the rebels' sudden reverses have revealed them for what they are-- a rabble, not an army. allied airstrikes can probably keep them from losing, but the rebels say they could win if only someone would give them better weapons. >> otherwise we finish qaddafi and-- in a few days but we don't have arms. >> reporter: the rebels have weapons they captured from qaddafi's army but they don't necessarily know how to use them. so as the u.s. considers its options, it will have to consider not just weapons but training. >> >> and one of them certainly will be arming the rebels, which requires american special forces on the ground to do this right. >> michael o'hanlon of the
brookings institution believes a few hundred antitank weapons would swing the tide of battle in a matter of days but it would also violate president obama's repeated pledge not put american boots on the ground in libya. >> it may not have to be the united states. there's good reason to think some european special forces could do compearably well, maybe even better in some ways given their contacts. >> reporter: bout who would they be arming? u.s. intelligence is still trying to determine what lurks behind the public face. the admiral who has taken command of the operation said there are concerns the rebels may include some of america's worst enemies. >> we have seen flickers in the intelligence of potential al qaeda, hezbollah. we've seen different things. >> reporter: the president has not yet decided whether to arm the rebels, and he may not have to. tonight, libya's foreign minister defected to london, the first big crack in qaddafi's inner circle. erica. >> hill: david, talk to us a little bit about the documents the president signed authorizing
covert operations in support. what exactly would that include? >> reporter: well, it makes it legal for the c.i.a. to open contacts with the rebels, but the president would still have to sign off on any specific operations. >> hill: so just a first step. in terms of qaddafi, has he changed his tactics at all? >> reporter: he is now telling his forces to switch to civilian investigation which will make it harder for aircraft to identify friend from foe on the battlefield. >> hill: david martin at the pentagon tonight, david, thanks. there's more turmoil in syria today after a hard-line speech by president al-assad. instead of announcing reforms, assad blamed recent protests on a foreign conspiracy. later a woman charged assad's motorcade. you can see it in the video there. she was immediate swarmed by his supporters. witnesses say syrian troops opened fire during an antigovernment protest. it is unclear if anyone was shot. that turmoil in the middle east has led to a price squeeze for
drivers in this country. since the libyan revolt began last month, oil prices have prissen nearly $20 a barrel. gas is up 47 cents a gallon, and with that in mind, president obama pledged today to make the u.s. more energy independent. here's chief white house correspondent chip reid. >> reporter: claiming he understands the pain cause bide high gasoline prices, president obama today set a goal of cutting oil imports from 11 million barrels a day to just over seven million by the year 2025. >> we can cut our oil dependence by a third. >> reporter: but it's a promise presidents have been making and breaking since the energy crisis of the 1970s. >> we must end vulnerability to economic disruption by foreign suppliers by 1985. >> i would say we are roughly in the same position, perhaps actually a little more dependent, than we were when we first started this concept. >> reporter: energy secretary chiefen khu says this time is
different because of advances in technology. >> americans are now flocking to automobiles with much higher gas mileage and their voting with their feet. >> reporter: but republicans accuse of president of increasing the need for imported oil by overreacting to last year's spill in the gulf of mexico. >> shutting down the fields off the coast of louisiana was not a good idea. i mean, it was a third of our production got shut down. >> reporter: and oil is not the only energy source that's become hard tore produce due to recent events. the president says nuclear is still an important part of his strategy but kick-starting the already-stagnated industry will be even more difficult following the crisis at japan's fukushima plant. the president says wind, solar, and other sources of clean energy are also key to his plan but they still depend on massive government subsidies, money that's hard to find in tight budgets. even coal took a big hit last year when 29 miners lost their lives at the upper big branch mine in west virginia. now, all of the energy plans the president talked about today are focused on the long-term and
white house viruses concede there's not really anything the president can do to bring down the price of gas in any significant way this year. erica. >> hill: chip, thanks. chip reid at the white house. american drivers, though, are beginning to do their part to conserve, and as national correspondent dean reynolds tells us, that means the heyday of the gas guzzler is over. >> 142.5! >> reporter: on the roller coaster ride of energy prices, gasoline is going up again. >> $65 for gas is pretty unbelievable. >> reporter: but lessons learned since the last spike in 2008 are cushioning the blow. >> fuel efficiency as a whole has become more important to every customer, even a full-size truck customer. >> reporter: gasoline consumption in this country peaked in 2007 at 390 million gallons a day. but it's declined ever since, and last year, the figure was 379 million gallons, a nearly 11-million gallon difference every day, and that's even with more cars on the road.
>> there are a lot of models now that are considerably more efficient than they were just four, five years ago. >> reporter: joe wizenfelledder of cars.com says the public got smart. >> people have learned, next time i buy a car i'm not going to be in a situation where my s.u.v. costs $100 to fill and its resale value goes way, way down and it leaves me stuck with this vehicle. >> reporter: in 2004, for example, 65% of the vehicles ford sold were trucks or s.u.v.s. today, that number has almost completely flipped with cars and crossovers dominating sales. >> people are downsizing, and they're buying nicer-equipped but very fuel-efficient vehicles. >> reporter: at grossinger auto-plex in chicago, 40% to 50% of toyota sales in march were hybrids. >> our hybrid sales and small-car sales have been pretty much going through the roof. >> reporter: but the japanese earthquake has disrupted supplies. >> unfortunately, as we get less, the prices are going to go up on the hybrid vehicles.
>> reporter: what's different today, though, is that consumers have a far wider array of choices, especially including u.s. products that can help them weather the wild ride at the pump. dean reynolds, cbs news, chicago. >> hill: in japan today, new concerns about the spread of radiation. officials said today leveles of radiation in sea water near the damaged fukushima plant are now more than 3,000 times the legal limit. the company that runs that plant has been heavily criticized. its president is now in the hospital suffering from dizziness and high blood pressure. in tokyo today, japan's emperor and empress visited families at an evacuation center. still ahead on the cbs evening news, it's in the foods most children eat every day, but could artificial coloring make the symptoms of hyperactivity worse? and up next, a dangerous super bug infects patients at hospitals in alabama.
>> hill: we've reported extensively about so-called superbugs-- which are turning up in more and more hospitals. they resist most antibiotics and can be deadly. one strain recently hit a half dozen facilities in alabama and now the chief suspect in a number of patient deaths is that strain. here's mark strassmann. >> reporter: it's ever
hospital's nightmare-- an avoidable bacterial infection that gointo the bloodstreams of 19 patients at six alabama hospitals and is suspected in the deaths of nine of them. >> any patient that has a decreased immune response, these type of infections are very life threatening. >> reporter: health officials believe the outbreak was linked to one batch of i.v. feeding bags given to critically ill patients. the liquid nutrition was produce bide this pharmacy meds i.v., headquartered in birmingham. the resulting infection was caused by sera saysia harassessent. >> meds i.v. was notified and informed its customers of the possibility of contamination. hospitals immediately stopped using this product, and the pharmacy discontinued all production. >> reporter: the c.d.c. has taken the lead in this investigation. five years ago they identified the same bacteria causing
bloodstream infections in a dozen patients in new jersey and california. the source of that contaminati contamination-- salt solutions administered through similar bags. >> sometimes bacteria can get from the water into the finished medication, so that is one way we've seen it happen in the past. >> reporter: in the alabama case, the bacteria can be treated if detected early. but it is a part of a class of five deadly bacteria wreaking havoc in hospitals across the country, now responsible for 60% of all intensive care infections. one in 20 patients develop these infections. in 2009, it's estimated 50,000 people died. >> there are increasing cases of infections caused by bacteria that are literally resistant to ever f.d.a.-approved antibiotic and we literally have no treatment for that bacteria. >> reporter: an observant clinicianinoid an increase in blood infections and notified health officials, possibly saving live.
>> hill: at seaworld in florida today tilikum the killer whale made a controversial comeback. till conduct is the orica that crowned trainer dawn brancheau just over a year ago. he was allowed to join other orchas in the pool today for the first time. since then he entered 5,000 visitors but trainers stayed out of the water. you may recall last year, topeka, kansas, briefly changed its name to google, part of an effort to win a contest sponsored by the internet search giant but google chose kansas city as the first to receive its ultra-fast internet service. that service is said to be 100 times faster than standard broadband. dozens of towns pulled publicity stunts to get google's attention. for kansas city, though, a simple application was all it took. up next, can foods like popsicles or jelloze make a child's hyperactivity worse?
>> hill: finalety, impulsive, lacking attention-- all symptoms of one of the most common behavioral disorder disorders in children, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or robert yates. more than 5.5 million kids have been diagnosed with the disorder, and today an f.d.a. panel began looking into whether artificial food dianas make it worse. here's dr. jon lapook. >> reporter: back in kindergarten ben loved brightly colored candy and ate a lot of
it. then he was diagnosed with severe a.d.d. >> i was, like daydreaming. i couldn't really, like, focus. >> reporter: in addition to giving him medication, his mom tried cutting out foods containing artificial dianas. >> and by monday, he was back at school off of his medication competing a diet free of food coloring and his teachers were amazed. >> reporter: most things you'll find in a lunch box contain artificial food dyes-- drinks, snack foods. this has yellow number 6, red number 40. they're even in foods we think of as healthy like fruit roll-ups and apple sauce. tomorrow they will testify at an f.d.a. meeting reconsidering the impact of food dianas. for the first time, f.d.a. officials say artificial colorings may not cause but could worsen hyperactivity in kids. >> the three main are red 40, yellow five, and yellow 6. they comprise 90% of all the dianas used in this country.
we're saying to the f.d.a., get rid of that whole kid and caboodle. >> reporter: while the u.s. grocery industry insists there's no link between artificial coloring and hyperactivity, the european union now requires a warning label on foods containing these dianas. >> i think the government should get involved to educate consumers that this could possibly be a similar outcome for other children. >> reporter: the f.d.a. panel isn't considering whether to ban these dianas but we could hear a call for more research and possibly warning labels. erica. >> hill: if your piece, ben's mom said there was this huge difference in her son when she cut out the dianas but how do we know it was really the dianas that were affecting him? >> reporter: we don't know. it could have been the dies. it could have been the sugars. it could have been gluten or something else we're not even thinking of or a combination of it all and that's one of the real challenges for researchers. >> hill: itf parents are thinking of cutting out some of these things from their children's diets, what's the best way to proceed. >> reporter: it's takeoff because they're everywhere. not just junk food-- margarine, the thing that makes it yellow
is food dianas. people have to read package labels very, very carefully. there is a growing industry in the united states of foods made from natural plant-based colorings but these products tend to be a little bit more expensive. >> hill: and can be tough to find, too. dr. jon lapook, thanks. for more information on the story log on to our partner in health news webmd.com and search food diana. we want to update on a story we brought you last night about a hormone treatment to prevent premature child bitter. it was a shot which useud to cost $20 per injection. after getting the f.d.a. approval, the price jumped to $1500 a shot. today the f.d.a. said pharmacies can continue distributing the original medication at the original price. next on the cbs evening news, 30 years ago, a few seconds of gunfire and a life forever changed. >> hill: dr. route lute jr.
was booked more than two months after king's murder. he is also seen in a jail uniform being patted down by a deputy standing against the wallave cell. it was 30 years ago today that president robald reagan was shot by a would-be assassin in washington, d.c reagan, of course, survived and went on to serve two full terms in office. three others were wounded that day, including reagan's press secretary, james brady. today, he visited the white house and met president obama. senior white house correspondent bill plante reports brady is still fighting for his signature cause. >> reporter: in the press room where he once briefed reporters, jim brady was asked if this president was pushing hard enough for gun control. >> you can never push too hard. >> reporter: the bull net his brain changed jim brady's life forever. brady was so seriously wounded that news wires reported his death. this recording was made in the white house situation room that day by national security adviser
richard allen. >> we just learned jim brady has died, and we better just-- have a moment of prayer and silence for jim brady. he died. >> reporter: brady survived hours of brain surgery but it was months before he left the hospital. and despite years of painful therapy, he never walked again. brady is 70 now and blind. what have the last 30 years been like? >> i have had good days and terrible days. >> reporter: he finds it difficult to talk about what might have been, but he is not bitter. what do you think about when you think of the dreams and ambitions that you had before this happened? >> that ship has sailed. >> reporter: you don't go back there any more? >> i try not to. >> reporter: yet despite it all, jim brady still has a sense of humor. >> i've learned that it is smarter to duck. >> reporter: what keeps jim
brady and his wife, sarah, going is their fight for gun control and the way that history keeps repeating itself. >> we had to watch gabby giffords going through the same struggle that first couple days that i remember that jim went through. >> reporter: the bradies believe what they've done has made a difference but say they're not finished. >> there's a lot more to be done. >> and it will be done. >> reporter: you have faith in that. >> yes. >> reporter: faith that he can still make a difference with the hand he was dealt. bill plante, cbs news, washington. >> hill: that is the cbs evening news. for katie couric, i'm erica hill. thanks for watching. i'll see you tomorrow morning on "the early show." good night.
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